“It’s never too early to talk football,” said Seton Hill University (SHU) athletic director Chris Snyder to the Westmoreland Sports Network (WSN).
Following a vacancy after Joel Dolinski was relieved of his coaching duties, the SHU community welcomed the newest addition to their sports staff. In December, Isaac Collins was named head coach of the Griffin’s football team.
“He brought a balance of everything we were looking for. Academics, structure, discipline, mentoring and then proven success on the playing field. His success at places like Columbia [University] and The Citadel really illustrated that he was open to challenge,” said professor of sports management and selective panel member Robert Zullo. “Some coaches just focus on their team. But Coach Collins looks at how he can be a part of the Seton Hill family, the Greensburg family, as well as having young men enjoy their time playing football. Some coaches say you can’t have all three, but he looks at it and says, ‘Why not?’ That’s part of what college is all about.”
Collin’s beat out upwards of 120 applicants for this position. His coaching philosophies, diverse background and academic improvement plan were just some of the things that appealed to the selective panel.
“His experience with recruiting quality students was very, very high on our list to get here,” said Snyder in an interview with WSN. “Anybody can tell you that players will win the games, but you have to have players who are going to be with you for four years. And they have to be academically prepared to succeed at Seton Hill.”
Hailing from Geneva, N.Y., Collins went to play running back at the University of Rochester, also serving as captain in 1993. His coaching career began shortly after with positions at The Citadel, Lehigh University, Columbia and the College of the Holy Cross. In addition, Collins gained NFL experience with the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles through the Minority Fellowship Program.
“One of the things along the interview process was that some might perceive me as a ‘hopper,’ but I see myself as an ‘experienced gainer’ because every place I’ve been, I’ve learned something and have developed things that the university will benefit from,” said Collins.
Through Collins’ time at Widener University, he rebuilt their athletic and academics standards in their football team. In his three years with them, their record consisted of 25-8.
Coming into SHU’s football program, Collins approached the task at hand with an optimistic and future-oriented mindset. “I don’t want to know what they did in the past. I want to know what they can do going forward,” said Collins.
Collins began his job at SHU just in time for the recruiting process. They will be focusing on the local area for young men interested in playing at SHU. “It’ll take some time to catch up on the interworking of the team and the players we have. But we’ve spent a lot of time in the community recruiting some new young men for the coming year,” said Collins.
The football team will begin their spring conditioning, as well as academic and social reformation, this semester.